Starting over. Sometimes it’s great, refreshing, exciting and leaves you full of anticipation and happy butterflies.
Other times…it kinda sucks.
I’ve had to start and stop running so many times. There’s a variety of reasons behind it but usually, it boils down to injury or general lack of time/motivation.
I’ve only run a couple of times since November. Easy, slow, controlled treadmill miles. I overdid it racing in October and though my brain (and maturity) tell me I’m 21, my body clearly knows that I’m more middle aged than that. 36 is by no means old but the body does have a way of letting us know that we can’t go and do dumb things like run close to a marathon with no training and function well in the weeks and months that follow. Lesson learned.
So after a 2 month hiatus from one of my absolute favorite sports, I’m slowly easing my way back into it. My conditioning is pretty nasty. I’ve been focusing on strength and Kettle bell training almost exclusively for the past 6-8 weeks and as a result, I barely have the endurance to get down my driveway, let alone any kind of race.
This would be one of those things that falls into the “kinda sucks” category. I hate starting over with running. In spite of my knee issues, I had one of my best running years ever in 2015. It’s a high I wanted to keep riding, not come crashing to the ground on. But this is the reality of where I’m at and as much as I’d love to sulk and bemoan this relatively insignificant tragedy (let’s face it, there’s way bigger things going on in the world than my running injuries), I’m surprisingly cool with it.
I plan on getting back into running. I intend to build up mileage and power back into my legs but I also plan on being smart about it. Right now, my goals for the year are more or less unchanged but I’m leaving an open margin for altering my plans given that things have the ability and the tendancy to change very quickly (like, 100m from the finish line. Stupid knee).
I plan to run a couple of 10k‘s this year. It’s always been my arch nemesis distance but I’m slowly learning to embrace the potential it holds. I came really close to breaking the 1 hour finish in October. I want to see if I can do it this year.
I am toying with the idea of another half marathon in the fall. I really miss the challenge of the distance but need to know that my knee can hold up to the training required before I commit to anything.
I ran a HUGE 5k PR last year. 4 minutes off my best official(ish) time. I was shocked. I don’t know if I could ever run that pace again but I am up for the challenge. Plus, I love 5k races. Short, sweet, no muss, no fuss.
I want to try some more trail running this summer. There’s a local race series that’s super cheap and looks super fun. Admittedly, aside from the knee, the thing that’s holding me back is that these races are small and I’m a slow runner. I’m not sure I’m ready to face bringing up the rear every single time.
OCR: This is a big one. I’m signed up for 2 obstacle races so far. One local one that I did last year (Dirty Donkey) and had a BLAST. The other is totally new to me (Battle frog), 9 hours away and in a moment of weakness, I signed up in a category that’s well above my present ability (not to mention 10 miles of running). I may be tasting that last place finish earlier than anticipated. But I’m excited to try it out. It also means I have to get on the boat and come up with a training plan to ensure I’m in the best possible place come race day. I’m also likely going to do another Spartan. We have a Sprint (3+ miles) and Super (5+ miles) this year and I’m pumped! I haven’t committed to one or the other though. I will. I just don’t know which one yet. My 21 year-old self is telling me to sign up for both. My 36 year-old self is telling her to shut her face.
All in all, I have an amazing year ahead of me. I definitely won’t be bored and I plan on enjoying my races. No pressure, no stress. Just fun and smiles. I hope you’ll come along for the ride!